Let the festivities commence: Buda will not allow COVID-19 to take away the holiday spirit 

Sahar Chmais 

While the pandemic has taken many cherished activities away from people, Buda is determined that COVID-19 will not keep residents from celebrating the holidays. 

Several committee representatives stood in front of the Buda City Council to present all the new and traditional holiday festivities to implement this year. These celebrations will come with a little twist since there is a pandemic, but council members were all pleased with the efforts to revive the holiday spirit. To accommodate all residents, activities in the season will account for people’s comfort levels, allowing some to participate from home. 

The holiday season will kick off following Thanksgiving, on Saturday Nov. 28 with Small Business Saturday. That same day, Santa Claus will light the tree and Buda residents will be able to watch the tradition virtually. 

The next event on Nov. 29 is Artist Sunday, where Inspired Minds and the Buda Area Artist Collective will bring awareness to this day so people can support local artists. 

On Nov. 30 the city will participate in Cyber Monday, giving people inside and outside of Buda a chance to support local businesses online. 

Supporting local businesses is the biggest goal that the Main Street Program Manager, Maggie Gillespie, wanted to stress. In order to encourage more foot traffic, the city will enhance the downtown experience by adding cost-effective lighting features, Gillespie said.

A new feature brought forth this year is the festival of trees in Greenbelt Park. Gillespie said this will support small businesses while spreading holiday cheer with the decorated trees. 

Photo from the City of Buda taken during 2019’s Trail of Lights.

December will have even more holiday celebration opportunities for families. There will be a holiday tour from Dec. 4 through Dec. 12, starting with Santa driving through neighborhoods. The mini parade will go through all neighborhoods within the Buda City Limits. Additionally, there will be two firework shows so the entire city can see it. 

On Dec. 12, there will be three drive-in movies at Doc’s Drive-in Theatre. 

Sprinkled within those eight days will be virtual calls with Santa, open-air classes with Inspired Minds and virtual story time with the Buda Public Library. 

In that time frame, there will also be a self-guided holiday lights tour where homes and businesses can register to become part of the Buda Fest wonder. Participating locations will be identified on a map and signs to identify them. 

Lights will not fade away after Dec. 12, in fact, these locations will be included in this year’s Trail of Lights. 

Although there are still some kinks to work through, the Trail of Lights will commence. This time around, the trail will be a drive-thru, open from Dec. 5 to Dec. 20. Many of the details are in the works, such as if they can open every night or just over the weekends. 

The original plan does not to allow food vendors, but council member Evan Ture suggested a reconsideration of adding them in; this is a time of the year where money gets raised for charity and Ture did not want that taken away. 

There is still a lot of planning going into the Trail of Lights details, but setting up begins in early November. 

Meanwhile, city council members praised all the efforts to bring Buda holiday cheer and a sense of normalcy.

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